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Wooler 6 Longbenton 0

Northern Alliance, Division Two

After a long lay-off due to the Christmas break and matches called off due to waterlogged pitches, Wooler started 2013 with a resounding victory over Longbenton, fellow high-fliers at the top of Northern Alliance Division Two.

All through the match, the Wooler defence, marshalled by the superb Michael Saunders kept the opposition forwards at bay, while the Wooler forwards dominated and looked like scoring on a regular basis.

The match was keenly contested in midfield, which was Longbenton’s strongest department.

Wooler opened the scoring after 15 minutes when James Scott latched on to a Luke Strangeways cross to score.

Wooler continued to press forward and next to score was Craig Henderson who headed in a Jamie Punton corner.

At the opposite end, Longbenton were restricted to a few long-range efforts which were comfortably dealt with by Stuart Shanks.

The second half continued in a similar vein to the first, with incessant Wooler pressure being rewarded when Scott struck a left-foot drive into the net from 20 yards after turning and beating his marker.

It seemed that Strangeways, on the left, and James Jefferies, on the right, could beat their markers at will and it was a Jefferies cross that found debutant Sean Palmer unmarked in the middle to score Wooler’s fourth goal.

A fifth goal soon followed when Tom Martin converted from close range following a goalmouth scramble and the scoring was rounded off with five minutes to go when Palmer was on hand again to coolly convert a through-ball from Punton.

Best for Wooler in a thoroughly entertaining match, enjoyed by a crowd of more than 100, were Saunders, Strangeways and Scott.